Pre-trial date set for man charged with murder of 2 Oshawa women

The man facing murder charges related to the deaths of two Oshawa women is now one step closer to trial.

Adam Strong appeared in an Oshawa courtroom from jail via video feed on Tuesday, wearing a bright orange jumpsuit as a pre-trial date of Feb. 28 was set regarding the cases of Rori Hache and Kandis Fitzpatrick.

Tuesday’s in-court appearance marks his second since Durham police charged 46-year-old Strong with the murder of the two women.

Investigators initially charged Strong with improper/indecent interference with a dead body last December after they found Hache’s remains in his Oshawa basement apartment, but the Crown dropped this charge in November after police charged him with first-degree murder.

Hache’s mother, Shanan Dionne, had been hoping for police to charge Strong with murder ever since he was first accused in her daughter’s death.

She said at the courthouse Tuesday: “I’m leaving here feeling better than I have on most appearances because it’s happening. I believe there’s enough to convict.”

“We all get the idea that it’s bad,” she continued.

Three months before officers discovered the teen’s remains in his home, a fisherman discovered her torso at the Oshawa lakefront.

Fitzpatrick, who is also from Oshawa, has been missing for a decade and would have turned 29 years old this year. Police say they consider her Durham Region’s 10th homicide victim of 2018.

Strong’s judicial pre-trial will be a meeting involving his lawyer, Tom Balka, as well as the Crown to sort out any legal and procedural issues before the trial officially begins.

They are urging anyone with information about Hache or Fitzpatrick’s cases to call the Major Crimes — Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5407/5325.

Anyone who would like to send information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or Tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

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Man arrested after stealing purse, attempted taxi theft in Salmon Arm

A man of no fixed address is in custody in Salmon Arm, awaiting trial, after being arrested for theft and robbery on Monday.

Salmon Arm RCMP say the incident unfolded at approximately 6 p.m. on December 10th, when they received a complaint that a purse had been stolen from Shuswap Lakes General Hospital.

The man allegedly fled the hospital on foot towards McGuire Lake. Police say they quickly attended the area and found a man who had just assaulted a female taxi driver and was attempting to steal her car. Police say the taxi driver was not hurt.

The 25-year-old man was arrested for robbery, theft, fraud and obstruction of a police officer. Further, police added he had just been released to appear in court in another B.C. town for property crime offences just one day before.

Police say the man made a brief court appearance and the judge kept him in custody. Police added that further charges may be recommended.

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IHIT to update Kiran Dhesi murder investigation on Wednesday

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) will provide an update in the Kiran Dhesi murder case on Wednesday morning.

Dhesi’s family is expected to make an appeal to the public as no arrests or charges have been made. coverage of the Kiran Dhesi murder investigation

The 19-year-old’s body was found in a burned-out SUV near 24 Avenue and 187 Street on Aug. 2, 2017.

At the time, IHIT said Dhesi was murdered in a different location.

Hours after Dhesi’s body was found, police descended on a Surrey house where they conducted a weeklong search. Police did not confirm whether the search and Dhesi’s death were linked.

Dhesi was a student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and had received a kidney transplant just a few months earlier.

“The family is going through very deep pain, still, because when that day [came, Wednesday], everybody was very sad,” Kulwant Dhesi, Kiran’s uncle, said in August on the one-year anniversary of her death.

Kulwant described the 19-year-old as a bright light, whose presence is missed every day.

“[She played a] leading role in the family. They’re missing so many things,” he said. “She was a very nice girl. We’re missing our Kiran.”

— With files from Simon Little

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Plan to ‘name and shame’ impaired drivers not coming to Maritimes anytime soon: Nova Scotia police

Nova Scotia RCMP say that although impaired driving is one of the leading factors in crashes in the province they don’t plan to follow the example set by York Regional Police earlier this month.

The Toronto-area police force has announced they will post the names of everyone charged with an impaired driving-related offence to their website each Monday, deciding to “name and shame” them.

“It’s not my decision to make a change to what the RCMP does nationally,”  said Corp. Jennifer Clarke, a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia RCMP. “We are aware that York police is posting names of impaired drivers on their website.

“However, it’s not something that we are considering doing at this time.”

Halifax Regional Police also says it’s not planning on naming impaired drivers.

David Fraser, a lawyer with McInnes Cooper who specializes in privacy law, says police shouldn’t be doing it at all.

“I’m not a fan of the police getting involved in online shaming,” he said. “They’re a part of the criminal justice system, and a key part of that is that you’re innocent or presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and they’re short-circuiting that.

“I would suggest that any police agencies in the Maritimes think very carefully whether this is something they want to engage in because I think it’s problematic.”

— With files from Whitney Middleton-Oickle

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Man arrested for allegedly spending more than $1,800 on stolen credit card

SINGAPORE – A 22-year-old was arrested on Monday (Dec 10) for his suspected involvement in using a stolen credit card to make unauthorised retail purchases.

The police said that they received a report on Nov 6 from a man who said several unauthorised transactions amounting to more than $1,800 had been made on his card.

Investigations revealed that he had lost his credit card, and three unauthorised transactions were made on Nov 6.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department established the identity of the suspect and arrested him along Tampines Street 21 on Monday.

He is due to be charged in court on Tuesday. If convicted of cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years, and will be fined.

The police said in a statement: “The Police would like to remind merchants and sales staff to exercise vigilance and adopt correct card acceptance procedures when processing credit card transactions.

“They should look out for the name and security features on the card face and if they are suspicious, they should contact their processing bank immediately for advice.”

Earlier this year on Nov 2, a man was arrested for allegedly using a lost credit card to rack up more than $500 in purchases.

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Convicted child molester jailed again and caned for committing same offence

SINGAPORE – A child molester sentenced to 14 months’ jail in 2015 was back in court on Thursday (Dec 6), pleading guilty to a similar offence.

Pizza-maker Muhammad Dzulkiffle Osman, 26, was sentenced to one year and eight months’ jail and given three strokes of the cane for molesting a nine-year-old girl in a lift in May this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling told the court that in the earlier offence, he had followed a 12-year-old girl into a lift before molesting her.

In the latest incident on May 16, he spotted the nine-year-old girl entering a convenience store in Boon Lay, waited for her outside and carefully tailed the Primary 4 pupil as she walked home to a nearby block of flats.

The court heard that Dzulkiffle, who suffers from a paedophilic disorder and is deemed to have a moderate risk for re-offending, felt an uncontrollable urge to touch the victim.

The girl was alone in a lift and its door was closing when Dzulkiffle tried to enter. The unsuspecting child held the door open and he stepped inside.

After the door closed, Dzulkiffle inched closer to his victim and hugged her from behind.

The DPP told District Judge Edgar Foo: “Terrified, the victim struggled out of the grasp of the accused and backed into a corner of the lift, while screaming for her mother.

“The accused relentlessly went closer to the victim, who continued screaming.”

The court heard that the lift door then opened and the girl ran home. The police were alerted about nine hours later.

On Thursday, DPP Chee urged the court to sentence Dzulkiffle to at least a year and eight months’ jail with three strokes of the cane, stressing that the girl was an extremely vulnerable victim, as she was only nine years old.

The DPP added: “She was severely traumatised, backing up into the corner of the lift and screaming for her mother.

“The accused targeted her at her place of residence, one where she is supposed to feel safe and secure.”

For outraging the child’s modesty, Dzulkiffle could have been jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.

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U.S. prosecutors name Trump in hush payments, detail Russian contacts

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors said on Friday President Donald Trump directed his personal lawyer to make illegal hush payments to two women ahead of the 2016 election, and also detailed a previously unknown attempt by a Russian to help the Trump campaign.

In court filings, federal prosecutors in New York and those working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller made the case for why Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, deserved prison time.

The documents turned up the heat on Trump by confirming prosecutors’ belief of his involvement in a campaign finance violation, while adding to a growing list of contacts between campaign aides and Russians in 2015 and 2016, legal experts said.

“In total, the prosecutors seem to be saying the president was more aware than he has claimed to be,” former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin said.

Prosecutors in both of the Cohen cases were required to submit separate memos on Friday on his cooperation to U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan, who will decide on the former lawyer’s sentence on Dec. 12.

While Cohen implicated the president in the hush payments to two women — adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — in his guilty plea in August in New York, the filing on Friday marked the first time federal prosecutors officially concurred.

It said Cohen made the payments in “coordination with and the direction of” Trump.

Democrats jumped on that assertion and called for steps to protect Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign.

“These legal documents outline serious and criminal wrongdoing, including felony violations of campaign finance laws at the direction of President Trump,” Senator Diane Feinstein said in a statement.

The president has denied any collusion with Russia, and accuses Mueller’s prosecutors of pressuring his former aides to lie about him, his campaign and his business dealings. Russia has denied interfering in the election to help Trump.

In new tweets on Friday, Trump accused federal investigators and senior officials of having conflicts of interest, without offering evidence. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called Cohen a liar and dismissed the filings as insignificant.

“The government’s filings in Mr. Cohen’s case tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known,” Sanders said.


Last week, Cohen admitted to lying to congressional investigators in an attempt to minimize his efforts to secure the Kremlin’s help for a Trump skyscraper in Moscow. He has said he did so to stay in sync with Trump’s political messaging, and that he consulted with the White House while preparing to testify to Congress.

Mueller said on Friday that Cohen repeated his false statements about the project in his first meeting with Mueller’s office, admitting the truth only in a later meeting in September after he had pleaded guilty to the separate New York charges.

On Friday, Mueller said Cohen’s false statements to Congress had “obscured the fact” that the skyscraper project held the potential to reap “hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources” for the Trump Organization.

Mueller said that discussions about the potential Moscow development were relevant to the investigation because they occurred “at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.”

In addition to coming clean on the Moscow project, Cohen provided information to Mueller about several attempts by Russians to contact the Trump’s campaign, according to Friday’s filing.

In November 2015, Cohen spoke with a Russian national who said he could offer the campaign “political synergy” with Russia and repeatedly proposed a meeting with Putin. Cohen did not follow up on the offer, the filing says.

Mueller also said in the filing that Cohen had provided “relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House” in 2017 and 2018.

Mueller also detailed alleged lies told by Manafort during interviews with prosecutors and the FBI. Last month Mueller voided Manafort’s plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth.

They said Manafort told “multiple discernible lies,” including about his communications with a political consultant will alleged ties to Russian intelligence, and about interactions with Trump administration officials even after Manafort was first indicted in late 2017.


The filings followed a sentencing memo earlier this week regarding Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who Mueller praised for providing “substantial” cooperation and argued for no prison time.

Cohen had been hoping prosecutors would make a similar recommendation in his case. But the New York prosecutors were unsparing in their descriptions of his conduct, saying he was motivated by “personal greed” and that he “repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.”

They said Cohen should receive some credit for cooperating with Mueller but noted he had not entered into a similar agreement with their office. They said his sentence should reflect a “modest” reduction from the four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

Mueller, for his part, praised Cohen for voluntarily providing information about his own and others’ conduct on “core topics under investigation” and described the information as “credible and consistent with other evidence” they had obtained.

Considering that cooperation, Mueller suggested the sentence for lying to Congress run concurrently with the sentence in the New York case.

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White nationalist James Fields guilty of murder after Charlottesville tragedy

A white nationalist who drove his car into a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist rally has been found guilty of murder.

James Fields, 21, was involved in the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, killing one of the counterdemonstrators.

He was found guilty today of first-degree murder and nine other counts.

The jury deliberated for less than a day before convicting Fields, of all charges stemming from the deadly confrontation that occurred after police had declared an unlawful assembly and cleared a park of white supremacists gathered for the "Unite the Right" rally.

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Mexico's new government strikes Jalisco cartel finances, promises more

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – New Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is taking aim at the finances of the powerful Jalisco cartel in what a top anti-money laundering official said was the opening salvo in the fight to stop criminal gangs from flourishing with impunity.

Santiago Nieto, the new head of the finance ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit, told Reuters on Thursday that he had filed a complaint against three businesses and seven people linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. On Wednesday, the finance ministry said Nieto’s unit had filed its first complaint with prosecutors, but did not include any details.

The move against the Jalisco cartel, a relative newcomer that has risen to become one of Mexico’s most dangerous criminal gangs, heralds a new effort to overcome Mexico’s reputation for weak prosecutions against drug gang finances.

“I am convinced the best way to prevent criminal behavior is by sending a message that these types of acts that violate trust and social norms will be punished,” Nieto said in a telephone interview.

He said the government, which took office on Saturday, wanted to send “a first message” that it was going to focus on taking legal action “and especially seek to impose penalties.”

Mexico’s drug war has raged for over a decade despite the capture of kingpins such as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Although cartels have splintered, the flow of drugs north has continued unabated, while violence in Mexico hit record levels last year.

In October, the United States offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspected leader of the Jalisco organization, Nemesio Oseguera, also known as El Mencho.

Nieto said he was able to quickly file the complaints because the businesses and people targeted already appear on the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) black list of drug traffickers.

Complaints from the Financial Intelligence Unit generally include evidence that is intended to prompt prosecutors to open criminal investigations.

Leftist Lopez Obrador, who has pledged to fight corruption, has repeatedly stressed that he wants good relations with the United States, Mexico’s neighbor and main export partner.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organization that sets global standards for fighting illicit finance, criticized Mexico early this year for systematically failing to punish money launderers.

The FATF report pointed to a declining rate of already-low prosecutions based on data from the intelligence unit.

Nieto said that action by authorities slowed even more in 2018, the last year of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration. The number of complaints from the unit declined and only three of them led to charges this year, he said.

Nieto said the new government would focus on filing more criminal complaints, freezing more bank accounts and seizing more goods and valuables from wrongdoers.

Nieto said the new government would also make a top priority of targeting the gangs and gas stations involved in rampant fuel theft. Lopez Obrador this week said he would soon unveil a plan to tackle fuel theft, which has become one of Mexico’s most pressing economic and security dilemmas.

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Hostages, robbers killed in foiled bank heists in Brazil

Six robbers and five hostages, including a child, killed in a pre-dawn assault on two banks in northeast Brazil.

    At least a dozen people, including six bank robbers and a child, have been killed during an attempted robbery of two banks in northeast Brazil, authorities have said.

    The violence erupted on Friday in the city of Milagres in the northeastern state of Ceara with a fierce pre-dawn shoot-out between the armed robbers and the police.

    “Our preliminary information is that 12 people died, including six police officers,” a spokeswoman for the governor told Reuters. 

    The mayor of Milagres, Lielson Landin, told Radio Band News that four of the hostages, including the child, were all from the same family. They were grabbed by the fleeing robbers on the highway when they were on the way to the nearby airport to catch a flight, he added.

    Landin said that “the criminals killed the hostages and the police killed the criminals”.

    Some Brazilian media gave higher death tolls of up to 13 and said the child killed was a 14-year-old boy.

    The attempted robbery of the two banks occurred around 2:30am (04:30 GMT). When police arrived, a shoot-out lasting 20 minutes ensued, reports said.

    According to Andre Costa, secretary of security affairs in Caera, two suspects in the attempted robberies were arrested. The robbers could not take any money out of the two banks.

    The Brazilian daily Globo quoted a farmer who was in close vicinity of the shoot-out.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Mendonca de Santa Helena said. “I stayed inside the house and was scared.

    “I heard screaming and people crying,” he added. “It was horrible.”

    Brazil, Latin America’s largest nation, often leads the world in total annual homicides. Ceara is one of the country’s most violent states.

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